Fall 2016

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Dear Friends,

It is appropriate that Thanksgiving always comes to us at the end of the year because it gives us an opportunity to look back at what we have been given. Here at Walnut Grove, we have many things for which we are grateful. We are thankful for generous painters. In March, we had our second annual unplanned flood in the oratory. Apparently there was a small puncture in a pipe from the reconstruction of the last flood, which eventually gave way and caused a huge leak. Several weeks of reconstruction ensued...and then, the paint. After a first coat of paint as pink as cotton candy, the painters graciously agreed to repaint for free so that our oratory looked respectable, if not yummy. So, we are grateful for generous painters.

We are grateful for annual garage sales. Our annual garage sale almost didn't happen this year because, well, we're getting older! Garage sales require a lot of physical labor and not all of us are, shall we say, spring chickens. Thanks be to Lydia Lam for rallying the troops and pulling us together for our most profitable garage sale ever! Even if, we were all a little sore for the next few days.

We are grateful for savvy InstaMommies. I n September we held our InstaMommy workshop for moms involved in social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. (See article below) Shortly before the event, we realized that Walnut Grove was not Insta-ready. We had an old website, no Instagram feed or Facebook page, and we had ladies wanting to livestream in from other states. What to do? Molly Rose to the rescue! She updated our website, created Instagram and Facebook accounts, and live-streamed the event on YouTube with the help of Carmen Antonio. While there were some minor kinks in the live-streaming (a mere 65 emails from participants during the event), all in all, we can safely say that Walnut Grave is now Insta-savvy!

We are grateful for grandmothers and tea and good advice! The highlight of this year's Grandmothers Tea was the talk given by Nene Reyes, a mother of 11 and grandmother of 16. She impressively named off all of her grandchildren's favorite songs, shows, and characters without missing a beat! The takeaway? Sitting in the backseat with your grandchildren on the way to family vacation can earn you more than a bumpy ride, it can be an opportunity to learn about their thoughts and interests, and offer them your own advice.

As we embark upon the season of Advent, let us also be grateful that the elections are over (whew!), but continue to spiritually profit from the awesome campaign slogans! "I'm with her!" May we accompany Mary on her journey to Bethlehem, asking her that this season of HOPE spurs a resolution for personal CHANGE, and thereby, truly, Make America Great Again.

Most importantly, we are thankful for you, and for the time,energy and financial resources you have put toward keeping Walnut Grove up and running. Your friendship is invaluable, and we could not do it without you. Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!

Insta Mommy Workshop

- by Estey Theriault Garrett

The Insta Mommy Workshop at Walnut Grove was a huge hit. I was especially grateful to be there as a pregnant mom expecting my first baby. I felt as though I was watching The Incredibles as I sat through the four talks in addition to bonding with other women over the universal yet incredibly unique experience of motherhood.

Here were my highlights from the four speakers:

If Momma Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy - Melissa Brady

Perhaps it was the funny cat videos that were somehow woven into her talk, but Melissa Brady really kicked off the Incredibles feeling for me as she emphasized that homes should be "a lot of fun" and that women need to get immersed in something that they truly enjoy. A key takeaway for me was the importance of having a commonsensical approach to balanced "me time" in a nonself-centered way while creating a home atmosphere in which the heartbeat is joy, service and love.

Great Expectations - Julia Boles

The nuggets of wisdom in Julia Boles' talk on having great expectations are too many to recount here, but I walked away with the feeling that families need to have rich cultures and traditions based on how the parents set the tone and agenda in the home. When she said, "the most important school your child will ever go to is your dinner table," I thought to myself, there's culture, human formation, and an education on relating to other people right there. Good manners are charity in action. Parents need to be confident (see Piety must be presented as something entirely natural and normal. Live this. Don't be afraid to be demanding of your children. Remember children live up to your expectations, not to your rules. Raise children who are willing to give at their own cost, even though they complain - they will thank you later. Ask yourself, and have your kids ask themselves, "Did I make those around me happy today?" - because the world needs us and our children to be instruments of love.

Motherhood Explained - Blythe Fike

Back to the Incredibles... Blythe Fike's talk had everyone laughing and nodding their heads as they related to the absurd but real anecdotes that are part of family life. She did a great job of explaining why it's so important to continue to date your spouse - namely, your kids are a byproduct of your marital love. Your relationship and marriage came first. Not only does your marriage relationship thrive with this recognition, but so do your kids, because they feel safe and secure knowing that mom and dad's relationship is safe and secure. Let go of "mommy guilt" and go on a date with your husband, even if your house is messy. To quote my dad about the office, "your inbox will not be empty when you die," -- the same applies for housework too! Read more on Blythe at her blog:

The Role of Social Media in Motherhood - Kendra Tierney

My key takeaway from Kendra Tierney's talk was that good old-fashioned family values are compatible with modern communication mechanisms such as social media. While she spoke about the “phone not being your friend”, she also pointed out how she has made worthwhile friendships through her blog and brought her virtual acquaintances into her real, tangible life of relationships. This made me think of a modern twist on the bygone notion of the pen pal. I really liked how she weaved the notion of community throughout her talk, how women need support systems and that social media can help with this, and the importance of staying intellectually engaged with the times. Read more on Kendra at her blog:

And...if you weren't able to attend Insta Mommy or would like to re-watch any of the talks, they are all available to stream on the Walnut Grove website:

Grandmothers' Tea Party

On October 22nd Walnut Grove Cultural Center hosted our 4th annual Grandmother’s Tea Party! Walnut Grove was filled with women and girls of all ages to celebrate the various ways grandmothers impact our families and society. We all enjoyed the delightful food and treats of tea sandwiches, scones and sweets served with tea. There was great joy as the ladies and girls took pleasure in each other’s company in the beautiful ambiance of lovely flowers, lace table cloths, and silver platters with accents of blue and white. We were very blessed to have live piano music, which greatly added to the festive atmosphere of our tea party. Nene Reyes gave the mothers and grandmothers an inspiring and uplifting talk about the important role of grandmothers. Several girls from our Girls Clubs and Pathfinder’s Camp entertained our grandmothers with a piano performance, a poem, and joyful song that they learned from camp. The photo booth captured some lasting memories, as many families took fun photos together. We concluded our afternoon with a raffle that included several, beautiful gift baskets. There was great excitement as the ladies won their raffle prizes knowing their financial contributions support the endeavors at Walnut Grove. A heartfelt thank you to everyone’s hard work, dedication and support of this special event to celebrate grandmothers and support Walnut Grove! ~Christina Corrales

A Grandmother’s Reflection by Nene Reyes

I have eleven children. I call them my tickets to heaven. Some of them have produced “coupons” - they are my grandchildren. All fifteen of them give me joy, fun and laughter. Somehow their presence generates love that I cannot explain. This year, the Holy Father Pope Francis met with pilgrims i n Rome as part of Grandparents Day celebration. What he said is full of substance and I want to share it with you. He emphasized how grandparents have a very special role in society, helping them with their faith and apostolate with the new generation. Pope Francis wants us to TALK to our grandkids. Every occasion or trip is an occasion for us to listen to them even for just a short while thereby developing a very close relationship, being friends to them. Sometimes it becomes an opportunity to discover some things that they won’t tell their parents. Because we pray and trust in God, our wisdom come into play as our grandchildren come to us with confidence. We learn such things as their interests, whether it be Mickey Mouse, Princess Sofia, Taylor Swift, One Direction or Pokemon. I drive a lot to attend events, big or small, that concern them. The mileage of my car (130,000 miles) might speak for itself. Actually, I don’t consider anything trivial that concerns them. Hence, it can be very tiring - BUT in the end, I can only give THANKS to God because I believe that the best thing that can happen in a grandma’s life is to be needed!

Opus Dei News

October 22, 2016

“There’s so much more to parenting..."

http:// theres-so-much-more-to-parenting/

In this 5-minute video, couples from all over the world share their experiences after attending the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) Congress in Mexico. IFFD is a non-governmental, independent, and non-profit federation, whose primary mission is to support and strengthen families. Through participative methodology, the programs aim to help parents to improve their relationships with their spouses and develop their child-rearing skills, in order to confront the daily challenges faced by families with confidence, flexibility and good humor.Extensive collaboration with numerous entities and more than 7,000 volunteers around the world means that IFFD programs are currently offered in 66 countries on five continents.For more information on Family Development programs in the U.S. and around the world see: Strengthening Families Around the World

Family Enrichment News

Family Enrichment of Los Angeles “Building stronger families, building a better tomorrow”

The 2016-17 Family Enrichment Course on Adolescence is underway! It's very exciting to note that a total of 64 couples have registered to participate in this course geared toward parents of teens, ages 13-16. This number of participants is significantly up from prior years. Five core teams have formed: Orange County, San Fernando , San Gabriel Valley, South Bay and Las Vegas. Stay tuned for the topic of next year's course which will be announced by year-end....For more information, please visit

Mastering the Rules of the Money Game

On November 12, Walnut Grove sponsored a financial education workshop. We learned how to turn our monthly paycheck into millions of dollars!!! Well, sort of... During the event, we heard that paying yourself first, and not losing money are two key components of growing wealth. In a fabulous talk hosted by our own Karla Yasciano and guest speaker, Miriam Ireton, the participants gained expertise in how to use financial vehicles to make the most of what they have...and maybe even make millions!!!

From the Bookstore

By Fr. Jacques Philippe

In Real Mercy, Father Jacques Philippe turns his focus on mercy in this book that developed from talks given on the first three days of the Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8, 2015. On that feast day of the Immaculate Conception, he explored how Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is an exemplar of mercy to the Church and the entire world. In a discreet but vital way she dispenses graces and favors with the compassion of a mother. His second essay on forgiveness in families hits home with everyone. No one has escaped the ill feeling and bitterness caused by strife and misunderstanding within the family, and yet the same family is intended to be the path for both earthly and eternal happiness. The author brings to light vivid examples of how lack of forgiveness causes severe damage while forgiveness heals and restores broken relationships. Finally, he uses the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux to show how trust in God’s mercy leads to extraordinary supernatural effects in one’s life and in the lives of those one touches.

By Gerard Castillo

When we think of famous persons in history we usually remember their great deeds in the areas of science, politics, art, etc. But for some, their greatest achievement in life was not played out before the public, but rather took place within the private sphere of their marriage. The world may remember them for their extraordinary gifts and accomplishments, but they, at the end of their lives, were most mindful of their greatest love: their spouse. This book honors the hidden love adventures of several famous persons in history. It offers concrete examples of marriages that transformed these well-known individuals in deep and personal ways. These are not fairy tales of marriages “made in heaven;” they are stories of real people with real struggles, who, through their marriage, were challenged, strengthened, and encouraged to grow in their capacity for love.

By Javier Suarez-Guanes

“When you love someone, you want to know all about his life and character, so as to become like him.” – St. Josemaria St. Josemaria spoke these words about the Lord Jesus, but they also apply to his Blessed Mother, Mary. The more we love Mary, the more we will want to know everything about her so as to become like her. The Maiden of Nazareth is a delightfully imaginative story that will help you get to know the Blessed Virgin Mary -- not as a statue in a church -- but as a living, breathing, human being. It follows her life from her immaculate conception and birth, up through her assumption into heaven, and it introduces you to the various characters that accompanied her along the way: Her parents Joachim and Anne, various cousins and relatives, her husband Joseph, Jesus, his apostles and various disciples and friends. You will feel like you know all of them much better after having read this book!

Calendar Summary:


Seminar Faith and Reason: Meets every first Saturday of the month

The Ten Commandments 10:00 am to 11:30 pm

~Theology Seminar - The Apostles Creed 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Evenings of Recollection for Women at Walnut Grove Meets every 4th Mondays at 6:15 to 9 pm

Days of Recollection for Women at Walnut Grove Meets every 4th Tuesdays at 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

2016 Women’s Retreats

Dec 2-4 Hilton, Las Vegas

To reserve email Marta Torres

Christmas Party at Walnut Grove on Dec. 11, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm Potluck get-together, caroling, and more

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